business events news

2nd February 2015
Editor: Jill Varley
business events news
Lost in
DRIVING from the
Sydney CBD
to the Crowne
Plaza Hunter
Valley with
a group of PCOs in the plush
comfort of a Rover Coach, talk
turned to the driveable threshold
people are prepared to go for a
regional conference.
Ninety minutes to two hours
was the agreed limit.
However, the collective
experience was that venues
tended to use poetic licence
when it came to distances, often
leaving out that the time quoted
is actually from the start of the
motorway, not the CBD.
It all started when the itinerary
from our gracious hosts read:
Pickup at 2:00pm Circular Quay,
with a second pick-up from
Chatswood at 2.30pm.
It then read: Resort check-in
time at 3.00pm - effectively
allowing half an hour to get to the
Hunter Valley, and we had barely
left the city!
However, we did acknowledge
that 3pm meant the check in
time, not the time we would
arrive there.
Still, it brought this issue to
the fore and gave us all a lively
discussion. Jill
Pictured: At the Centre launch
(see page two), Jill gets sketched.
[email protected]
1300 799 220
Voyages set for 20% growth
Today’s issue of BEN
Business Events News today
has three pages of news plus a
full page from: (click)
• Club Med
Heli tours of
Breaksea greenlit
STRONG forward bookings
for business events at Voyages
Ayers Rock Resort indicate that
the iconic central Australian
property is likely to experience
accelerated growth of 20% year
on year for 2015/16, according to
Voyages Indigenous Tourism sales
and marketing executive gm Ray
Stone told BEN that would be an
improvement on the 14% growth
expected for 2014/15, which he
said was still a “good number”
considering industry conditions.
“I don’t think regional Australia
has had a particularly good year
for conferences, so we’re quite
pleased with this result.”
Stone said he considered
20%-plus growth for next year
to be “realistic and achievable”
with the market seeing greater
awareness of the enhanced Uluru
Meeting Place facilities.
Voyages is also continuing to
invest heavily in the property,
which was taken over by the
Indigenous Land Corporation
in May 2011 with a key aim of
boosting Indigenous tourism.
Since then it has created the
National Indigenous Training
Academy, which has already
seen 100 graduates, about half
of whom have stayed with the
resort while the rest have moved
onto other parts of the Accor
global hospitality network.
The next stage is a “Step Up”
program which provides further
training for management roles.
Upgrades have seen around
$50m spent on the property
including a full refurbishment of
the Sails in the Desert property,
which is now rolling through to
the Emu Walk Apartments.
Events are also a key focus of
the repositioning of the property,
with a combination of annual
festivals and one-offs such as a
visit by the Dalai Lama planned
for June this year (BEN 31 Jan).
Business events delegates will
be able to stay connected, with
free WiFi to roll out across the
resort from 01 Apr and a fivefold
increase in bandwidth.
Stone also foreshadowed a
renewed focus on food and
beverage, with a strongly positive
response to the Tali Wiru outdoor
gourmet dining experience, ideal
for incentive groups.
Voyages will be participating in
AIME, with further details of the
property’s extensive business
events offerings available during
the show.
SKYHOOK Helicopters has been
licensed by the Western Australia
Department of Parks and Wildlife
to operate public helicopter
tours to Breaksea Island Nature
Environment Minister Albert
Jacob said viewing of Breaksea
Island’s wildlife and coastline
had been limited because of the
difficulty in accessing it safely by
Skyhook had been licensed
to meet increased demand for
adventure and eco-tourism
experiences on the south coast,
Jacob said.
“Helicopter tours will allow
visitors to get a bird’s eye view
of the area before landing on the
island for greater appreciation
and access to the heritagelisted lighthouse and keepers’
Tourism Oz PR tender
TOURISM Australia has
answered further technical
questions about its tender
for public relations services in
international markets, including
for business events.
CLICK HERE to read more.
Join the NT exhibitors for
an evening of cocktails, canapés
and casual conversation.
Pei Modern
Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne
Tuesday 24 February 2015
6:30pm- 8:30pm
(transfers from AIME provided)
business events news
Page 1
Advertise with us
business events news
2nd February 2015
ANYONE who doubts the
pulling power of a Tibetan monk
will be surprised at the response
to the upcoming appearance by
the Dalai Lama at Voyages Ayers
Rock Resort (BEN 31 Jan).
Voyages’ Ray Stone said
there’s already been so much
interest that the property has
chartered two aircraft to bring
visitors from Brisbane.
And if you haven’t already
booked, you’re too late - the
direct flights for the ‘Brisbane
Express Spiritual Package’ are
already sold out to devotees.
However, event packages
for the visit go on sale to the
general public from tomorrow.
OUTDOOR event organisers
should take the lead of a
London based company which is
using aircraft to guarantee good
weather for weddings.
Oliver’s Travels charges
£100,000 for the service which
involves a fleet of so-called
“cloud-bursting planes”.
The aircraft fly above the
clouds every day for a week
before the big event, sprinkling
them with silver iodide particles
which causes rain - meaning
the clouds disperse before the
crucial deadline.
“We pride ourselves on
our quirky approach and are
thrilled to be able to offer such
an unusual, unique service to
our customers to ensure their
wedding is the talk of the town,”
said founder Oliver Bell.
Currently the service was only
available for events in France,
but could easily be rolled out
into other locations, Bell said.
be top of mind
• Cost Effective
• Targeted
• Easy
For details call us today 1300 799 220
Jewel in the Crowne Plaza
“IT’S been a long
journey to get here,” said
a relieved Crowne Plaza
Hunter Valley gm Robert
Coates at the soft opening
of the $4m Conference
and Events Centre on
Friday evening.
“Don’t lean too heavily
on the walls and take
care when walking on the
toilet floor tiles,” he joked to the
gathered guests, alluding to how
close to the wire the finish went.
The new Crowne Plaza facility
now provides the Hunter Valley
with the largest and most
comprehensive conference
and exhibition facilities, with a
combined 2,000 sqm of meeting
and exhibition space, and
accommodation for up to 1,675
delegates, theatre-style, and 830
for a sit down event.
Rooms open onto a light filled
gallery connecting the conference
and exhibition spaces and can be
used as one ballroom or a mix
of rooms with flexible acoustic
folding walls.
A unique design feature of the
building, which overlooks garden
spaces and golf course greens,
is the four 14 metre pylons
rescued from the now defunct
Sydney Conference and Exhibition
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley first
opened in October 2006 and was
BEN’s calendar details events
at various venues across
If you have an upcoming event
you’d like us to feature, email
[email protected]
purchased by Dr Jerry Schwartz
in 2012.
That is when the action started,
Coates said.
“We are the largest regional
resort in NSW and with acres and
acres of grass, we have the space
to host big events.
“Dr Schwartz really believes in
regional NSW and it’s our mission
to make the Hunter Valley one of
the key destinations.
“Everywhere I see
opportunities, opportunities,
opportunities and particularly the
opportunity to work closely with
others in the Hunter Valley.
“Our only challenge is you have
to bring your events up here!”
Together with the new
events centre and an
extension to the Tea Tree
Spa, Coates predicts a big
year ahead.
The official opening of
the Conference and Events
Centre is on 17 Feb.
Pictured above is a
view of Crowne Plaza’s
new signature event space,
Harvest Hunter, while left is Dee
Pendergast and Dean Jones, IHG,
Lyn Meharg, ShortleadEvents/
ConferenceDeals, Vickie Scobie,
Conferences in Style, and Kylie
Vernooy, IHG.
CLICK HERE to view more
Perth Convention Bureau’s (PCB)
2015 Aspire Awards workshop
luncheon; Perth Convention
and Exhibition Centre; enquiries
email [email protected]
12-13 FEB
CEO & Chair Symposium; Hotel
Grand Chancellor, Hobart; for
any enquiries please email
[email protected]
18-20 FEB
Fundraising Institute Australia
Conference 2015; Brisbane
Convention & Exhibition Centre;
20 FEB
DMS Workshop; Doltone
House Hyde Park, Sydney;
enquiries email [email protected]
23 FEB
DMS Workshop; Crown
Towers, Melbourne; enquiries
email [email protected]
23 FEB
Women in Leadership Event;
Crown Towers, Melbourne;
enquiries email [email protected]
24 - 25 FEB
AIME 2015 Melbourne
Convention and Exhibition
Centre; for more visit
16 MAR
Ni hao WA 2015; Aravina Estate,
Yallingup; for more visit www.
Come visit us at
26 – 27 February 2013
business events news
Page 2
Face to Face
Buttrose news
business events news
Key account manager
Restaurant Associates
2nd February 2015
New name for ICCA
AIME seminar
THE International Congress and
Convention Association (ICCA)
seminar at AIME this year will
feature a new name to highlight
a new format and revamped
The ICCA International Meetings
Foundation Seminar, formerly the
Forum for Young Professionals, is
set to be held for the 15th year at
the Melbourne Convention and
Exhibition Centre.
The new name and format had
been designed using feedback
from ICCA members, ICCA ceo
Martin Sirk said.
Applicants must work full
time in a position related to the
business events and meetings
industry, with less than five years’
CLICK HERE for the application.
Breakfast with WA
Tourism Minister
TOURISM Council WA is set
to host Minister for Tourism Dr
Kim Hames for a breakfast forum
on 25 Feb at the Novotel Perth
Langley, who will provide an
update on his tourism plans.
CLICK HERE to register.
IT&CM China 2015
MORE than 600 international
and domestic buyers are
expected at IT&CM China, which
takes place from 14 to 16 Apr
at the Shanghai Exhibition and
Convention Center.
Organisers said the show was
expected to draw 3,000 business
events delegates with about 400
hosted delegates, more than
10,000 business appointments
and more than 60 business and
networking sessions.
Official Conference
Shop launch
THE Conference Shop has
officially launched.
Active since last year, the
website providing information
on venues and planning events
in regional areas is run by Carla
Offord, previously of Southern
Highlands Corporate Events.
Areas covered include the Blue
Mountains and Wollongong.
The organisation has previously
announced it will host several
famils in regional NSW and ACT
this year (BEN 14 Jan).
The company said there were
plans to span all regional NSW by
the end of this year
CLICK HERE to read more.
If you could create any animal
hybrid, what would it be and why?
I think a bear, fox, and cheetah,
(Befoxtah) known for its power,
strength, smarts and agility. FYI,
Befoxtah, it’s now a thing.
What are some must-haves on any
business event menu and why?
A difference: we all go to so many
events where the same drab ideas
are repeated in a nonplussed way.
How great is it when you attend
an event and think “that’s clever”?
There’s certainly no better tool
when you are looking to stand out.
MEETINGS’ $50m in
How do business events attendees
differ from other event attendees?
BEA’s are clear on what they want,
what they need and quite frankly,
how to get it. This audience
is organised and looking for
excellence. This mentality is then
reflected within their needs as a
client. No rose coloured glasses in
this audience view.
FOLLOWING on from NZ$50m
in business booked at last year’s
MEETINGS, the New Zealand
business events trade exhibition
will return for its 19th year from
10 to 11 Jun.
The show will again be held in
Auckland across two pavilions
at the ASB Showgrounds, with
Nelson and Dunedin for the first
time joining other regions to
host weekend experiences for
Australians from 06 to 08 Jun.
More than 35 international
buyers and media will attend the
show, Conferences and Incentives
New Zealand said.
What tips would you give food and
service groups when it comes to
securing a business event/client?
Be proactive and do your research,
most companies expect that you
know a thing or two about them.
Business Events News is Australia’s newest online publication dedicated to
the vibrant meetings, incentives, conferences and events sector.
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Postal address: PO Box 1010, Epping, NSW 1710 Australia
Street address: 4/41 Rawson St, Epping NSW 2121 Australia
P: 1300 799 220 (+61 2 8007 6760) F: 1300 799 221 (+61 2 8007 6769)
Part of the Travel Daily group of publications.
Business Events News recently caught up
with Sean Buttrose, key account manager for
Restaurant Associates, whose role is to provide
catering and events within the heritage-listed Old
Parliament House.
What one thing must food and
service groups do to make a
business event go off?
Successful events are truly a
perfect balancing act, you cannot
excel in one area and not another
and expect to be noticed or even
get away with it. That said, it’s
always the detail that makes a
good event stand out.
I know when I was in sales I would
be forever Googling a company or
client, as they talked to me during
first contact.
How important is a beautiful
venue to the success of an event?
A beautiful venue is not a lever to
success. It’s handy, it helps sell (I
know I am blessed with one), but I
have attended the most amazing
events in not very memorable
venues - including alleyways - and
have been just as impressed as if I
was in an exquisite venue.
How do you recover from spilling
drinks on someone?
Technically, well…. Step One:
apology, Step Two: immediate
solution (the old soda water and
hairdryer trick), Step Three: offer
to pay for that dry cleaning. We at
Restaurant Associates however,
focus on the prevention-isbetter-than-cure approach, with
extensive role playing and service
training for all our staff.
What would you say is the number
one rule for serving staff when
it comes to attendees? And vice
Staff - realise that you are here
for these guests, not the other
way round. Attendees - well I
personally would hope guests
would not need to have a rule
when it comes to service staff.
Service should be discrete,
unassuming and effortlessly
helpful. If guests need a rule to
react to service staff, the staff are
doing it all wrong.
Publisher: Bruce Piper
Editor: Jill Varley [email protected]
Deputy Editor: Alex Walls
Contributor: Bruce Piper
Advertising and Marketing: Sean Harrigan and Magda Herdzik [email protected]
Business Manager: Jenny Piper [email protected]
business events news
Business Events News is a publication of Business Events News Pty Ltd ABN 80 153 775 449. All content is fully protected by copyright. Please obtain written permission to reproduce any material. While every care has been taken
in preparation of the newsletter no liability can be accepted for errors or omissions. BEN takes no responsibility for the opinions of its contributors/columnists. Information is published in good faith to stimulate independent
investigation of the matters canvassed. Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by Bruce Piper.
business events news
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why book a conference room
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